Tuna in Spring?
  |  First Published: October 2009

Although isolated captures of inshore snapper, whiting, mulloway have already started to show up, these fish will become more consistent as water temperatures rise.

November is the month when Southwest anglers can really begin targeting the summer run of fish with some confidence. This rise in water temperature, combined with a clearing of the dirty flood waters present at the moment should also see the estuaries fire up as well as fish become more active.

Strong winds have still been restricting offshore anglers recently but in the few windows of opportunity that have existed some interesting captures have come to light. None more so than the tuna that were caught near the shelf off Port Fairy in early October. Some boats out deepwater bottom bouncing noticed some bust ups and sure enough landed several school-sized southern bluefin tuna.

It seems this season of SBT action continues to throw out one surprise after the next as one wouldn’t really expect to encounter these fish at this time of the year, but it looks like anglers heading well offshore at anytime should keep their eyes peeled and the trolling gear close handy.

Gummy and school shark, as well as snapper have been taken offshore whilst inshore a few good captures of King George whiting are starting to appear in the Killarney area.

Spring rains for a change

Trout rivers were very high and dirty for the first months of the season. Once they dropped they fished very well for browns averaging 1.8kg, until further heavy falls slowed things down again. These heavy rains have once again allowed anglers to get canoes and small punt style boats back onto Lake Ellingamite where brown and rainbow trout have been taken both on trolled lures and baits. Most fish have been in the 1-1.6kg bracket but the lake is known for producing bigger fish.

The heavy rainfalls have also caused the estuaries to run dirty as well. Fish can still be taken in the deeper areas of the river where the salt wedge pushes in under the dirty water. Boat anglers with even moderate sounders can easily pick up the line showing the demarcation between the freshwater on top and the saltwater (often containing all the fish arches) below and concentrating in these areas with baits on the bottom or vibe lures. The Hopkins in particular has been producing some good bream and perch in the deeper, lower reaches. Many of these fish have been heavily in spawn so you can expect the bream in particular to have run further up the river as it begins to clear.

There have been plenty of small fish but enough 40cm plus fish mixed in amongst them to keep things interesting. I’ve just finished fishing a segment on these fish with ‘Fishing Life’, a new fishing show produced by Visual Contact. This series will showcase the Vic. Bream 09 series and as well as some social sessions. It will be screening on Aurora TV in 2010 as well as being available on DVD and will have plenty of info for anyone who loves lure fishing or is looking to get into the tournament scene.

There have been whispers of a few mulloway being encountered off the surf beaches around the mouth of the river as well. Hopefully this month there might be a few of these beautiful silver beasts making their way onto the estuary itself as its been too long since we’ve had a good run of these fish.

However a wet winter and a wide mouth has anglers dreaming of encountering mulloway in the Hopkins.

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